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CINCINNATI, OH - MAY 12: Cincinnati Bengals tight ends coach Jonathan Hayes watches the blocking of Orson Charles #80 during a rookie minicamp at Paul Brown Stadium on May 12, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
CINCINNATI - Training camp opens Thursday at PBS. Get the schedule and details.
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CINCINNATI - Curious about what you can expect from the Bengals this season but don’t want to rely on what the “experts” have to say? Head out to the practice field and watch them in person.
For the third straight year the Bengals are holding their training camp at Paul Brown Stadium in downtown Cincinnati. Between July 24 and Aug. 14, the team will open up many of their practices to the public. (schedule below)
Those practices will not only be free to the public but also offer die-hard fans access to the team, including increased autograph opportunities, which is not available later in the season.
“We are very happy with the way training camp has gone since we moved it here to the stadium in 2012,” said Jack Brennan, public relations director for the Bengals. “The old remote training camp way was nice but times have changed now in the NFL. This set up is better for the team, if we stay at our facility."
Prior to 2012 the team practiced at Georgetown College in Kentucky, and Wilmington College in Ohio before that. But practicing in downtown Cincinnati makes it easier on players and fans alike, Brennan said.
“Although we liked taking teams to markets in other parts of the region, this does make our practices available to more people than ever before,” he said, adding that opening up to the fans is important because it’s one of the few chances the two sides get to interact with one another.
“Training camp really is the only chance the fans can get a close-up look at the players,” Brennan said. “We love reaching out to the fans, but given the NFL schedule when the season rolls around it’s all about business.
Now, most preseason practices will be held on the practice fields just west of the stadium off Pete Rose Way.
Seating capacity for the practice fields will include 1,250 bleacher seats, plus additional room for fans to stand along the sidelines. No passes will be required to enter and there's "usually plenty of room for everyone," Brennan said.
"Really, beyond the first couple practices in 2012, we haven’t had to turn anyone way," he said. "We've come close on a few occasions, but there's usually plenty of room and everyone has a good time."
On Aug. 2 and Aug. 9, the Bengals will host “Family Day” practice events inside Paul Brown Stadium, on consecutive Saturdays (Aug. 2 through Aug. 9). These practice days feature enhanced attractions for children, Bengals officials promise.
Brennan said the in-stadium practices tend to be bigger draws, ranging from anywhere between 6,000 to 8,000 fans.
For each session on the practice fields, the first 53 fans who show a Fifth Third Bank debit card or credit card will be upgraded to the Fifth Third Reserved Bleacher Seats. This promotion does not apply to the two practices inside the stadium.
Fans will be allowed to bring small, soft-sided coolers, unopened bottles of water and food into all practices. But concessions will be available for purchase, as will Bengals merchandise.
No chairs or other temporary seating will be permitted.
At the conclusion of every session, groups of players will be available for autographs for 15 minutes after practice ends. For the safety of pedestrians, no autographs will be permitted as players enter or leave the practice fields.
The entire roster of players will be available for autographs after the Family Day practices.
Parking for all practices is available in the public parking lots located adjacent to PBS, at established prices.
Click to the next page to see the list of practices open to fans
All practices will take place on the practice fields just west of Paul Brown Stadium, unless otherwise noted. Each will last about 90 minutes but the timing of each session is ultimately decided by the coaching staff so changes are possible.
Because the times are subject to change, fans are advised to check the Bengals website on the days of practices for the latest times.
On dates not included below, there is no public access.
FRIDAY, AUG. 1
SATURDAY, AUG. 2 (FAMILY DAY AT PAUL BROWN STADIUM)
MONDAY, AUG. 4
TUESDAY, AUG. 5
SATURDAY, AUG. 9 (FAMILY DAY AT PAUL BROWN STADIUM)
MONDAY, AUG. 11 (at West Carrollton High School)
TUESDAY, AUG. 12
WEDNESDAY, AUG. 13
THURSDAY, AUG. 14